Inflation and rising interest costs don't seem to be impacting development within the RPGA Planning District.
The value of building permits pulled for Altona and the Municipality of Rhineland in the first quarter of 2023 is sitting well above the totals registered during the same time last year.
Susan Stein, Community Development Officer for the RPGA, says typical first quarter values sit around 10 to 15 per cent of the previous year. In 2023 however, Altona is sitting at 26 per cent so far, and the Municipality of Rhineland at 35 per cent.
"From what I can see, I think we're going to hit the target again this year. I don't see that we're not going to be slow. This week alone, the permits have been coming in and the calls have been coming in. As soon as the frost comes out, people are ready to start," she said.
In Altona, permits have been taken out for 19 new home builds so far.
"Most of that is in multi-family," said Stein, who expects to see more of this kind of development throughout the year. "That seems to be the trend."
There's also been an uptick in commercial development permits for Altona, and Stein expects more applications to cross her desk throughout the year due, in large part, to the Town's expanded industrial park.
In Rhineland, permits have only been taken out for two new home builds so far. However, Stein thinks that will change as time goes on, with the expectation the trend will fade from multi-family units to single homes or duplexes, particularly in the Local Urban Districts of Plum Coulee, Rosenfeld and Gretna.
She is also starting to see a trend towards secondary suites.
"So, where people are building additions to their homes, converting a basement or adding a secondary detached suite for someone to live. They live in the main dwelling and their kids live in the secondary suite. That may be related to inflation or interest costs."
Meantime, there's been an increase in commercial and farm permits taken out in Rhineland. That includes renovations to commercial facilities, construction of farmyard shops or small commercial businesses being built on rural yards.